The Establishing Shot: Jack Falls review and Premiere

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

Jack FallsIt's hard to make a film. Harder to make a film with low budget, even harder still to make it look easy. But the Jack team clearly has the passion and drive that it takes to take an idea and get it in front of an audience.

You may not have heard of the Jack Trilogy; they are local guys on a local budget and yet they have managed to pull together an extraordinary pool of talent to make Jack Falls the third and biggest film in the Jack series so far.

Jack started as a Frank Miller influenced graphic novel by Paul Tanter. Who with a small team made their first film in 2008 based on the comic - Jack Says.

Jack Says
Jack Says Poster

Jack Says
Waking up in London with amnesia next to a dead body, Jack Adleth has just enough time and sense to disappear before the police arrive. In an attempt to lay low, he heads to Paris to visit an ex girlfriend he can't remember. But a guy like Jack attracts trouble, and an encounter with the mysterious Girl X draws him and the woman he loves back into a world he s trying hard to avoid... and to remember.

Jack Says is a gritty British gangster film shot in the contrary sophistication of a classic film noir. Simon Phillips plays Jack Adleth, a Scottish man who wakes up in London next to a dead body, but with no recollection of how he got there. On the run from the police, he ends up in Paris only to find that all his problems (including those he couldn't remember he had) have followed him there.
Jack Says is a contemporary film noir thriller and stars Simon Phillips, Rita Ramnani, Aurelie Amblard, Daniel Roberts with Rula Lenska, Mike Reid and Eric Cantona.

Although directed by Bob Phillips, Paul Tanter was very hands on throughout the making of Jack Says.

The team returned with the slightly bigger budget in 2009 and brought some more well known actors with them for Jack Said.

Jack Said
Jack Said Poster

Jack Said
Jack Adleth is leading a double life. As an undercover cop infiltrating a notorious gang of criminals, he’s walking through the shadows of no man’s land. His task is to bring down The Guv’nor, but there are a few things he didn’t see coming. Like his friendship with gang member Nathan blurring the line between ally and enemy. Or that Nathan’s beautiful sister would turn his life upside down. Or that The Guv’nor’s psychotic daughter Natalie would have a dangerous agenda of her own. Suddenly Jack finds himself in the midst of a perilous and volatile situation, one which threatens to explode into disaster at any moment.
Starring Danny Dyer, Terry Stone, David O'Hara, Jimmy White and Simon Phillips, this non-stop action thriller takes the viewer on an adrenaline-filled journey through the darkest underbelly of London’s gangland culture.”
Not content with sitting back and leaving well enough alone the Jack team came back this year with their most ambitious project yet - Jack Falls

Jack Falls
Jack Falls Poster

Jack Falls
“Following on from the events of Jack Said, Simon Phillips reprises the role of Jack Adleth, the undercover policeman who returns to London after surviving an attempt on his life in Amsterdam.

A who’s who of British hardmen (including Tamer Hassan, Martin Kemp and Snatch's Alan Ford) co-star in this cracking underworld thriller.

Jack Falls stars: Tamer Hassan, Simon Phillips, Olivia Hallinan, Jason Flemying, Dexter Fletcher
This time round the Jack team have enough backing to bring on board a cast that reads like the who's who of the London cinematic underworld and shoot Jack Falls in the noir with splashes of colour style that they had always envisioned but Paul Tanter takes up the directorial reigns along with fellow first timer Alexander Williams.

Jack Falls Review
Last Thursday I was invited to the rather swanky Mayfair Hotel for the Gala launch screening of Jack Falls. I assumed that this would be a fairly low key affair with hopefully the cast & crew in attendance. I knew that I missed the boat when I got to the hotel and a crowd of growing fans had started gathering for the expected arrivals for the premiere screening.

Crikey the Jack team continues to surprise with their commitment to bring their vision to screens. As I made my way upstairs to the rather impressive private area filled with throngs of glam people. And on the right there was a huge press pit with reporters, camera men and photographers. I realised at that point pretty much any chance I had of catching with the Jack team would have to be put on hold as not only would they be working but was really a time for them to see the fruits of there hard work and enjoy the moment.

After some libation and banter with various actors and filmmakers we made our way into the screening room.

My awkwardness completely hitting all sorts of new levels when I realise I’m sitting behind the impossibly gorgeous Gemma Atkinson (soon to be seen on screen alongside Simon Phillips and Richard E. Grant in Alexander Williams’ Rom Com How to Stop Being a Loser as well as alongside Mark Hamill – yes Luke Skywalker - Billy Murray and Simon Phillips again in another Alexander Williams film the horror thriller - Airborne)

Jack Falls Trailer

I’m immediately struck with the great opening shot. Paul Tanter & Alexander Williams making sure we understand that this is digital film making their way.

Jack Falls throws us straight into action and picks up where Jack Said ended. With Jack (Simon Phillips) in Amsterdam. But all is not well for long as he is immediately mortally wounded.

Fortunately Natasha (Olivia Hallinan) gets Jack to The Doctor (Doug Bradley, yes the original Cenobite - Pinhead) which results in Jack surviving. However Jack doesn’t leave it there, he is determined to find out who was behind the attempt.

Jack Falls
Simon Phillips as Jack Adleth, Tamer Hassan as The Boss

Was it Carter (Alan Ford) who took over Natasha’s father’s underworld empire along with his henchman Hogan (Adam Deacon)? The mysterious Hit Man (Dominic Burns)? The seemingly friendly Detective Edwards (Dexter Fletcher) or his police unit headed up by Tamer Hassan? Or a mysterious new threat?

Jack Falls
Dominic Burns as Hitman, Dexter Fletcher as Detective Edwards

Jack makes his way through the London underworld leaving a trail of death and destruction in his wake as he uncovers who is behind the latest plot to kill him.

Jack Falls
Alan Ford as Carter, Olivia Hallinan as Natasha

Jack Falls is shot in Black & white with dashes of colour every now & then much like Sin City & Rumble Fish. This is complimented with some great comic panel like effects brought in every now & then, a style used to great effect in Ang Lee’s Hulk & Walter Hill’s great rock & Roll fable Streets of Fire.

Jack Falls feels bigger than the previous Jack films, is jam packed with action, fights, guns, menacing characters and explosions and with a smorgasbord board of characters & cast you’ll be surprised at every turn at who pops up, as in the likes of; Jason Flemyng, Zach Galligan and Martin Kemp. Stand out performance from Alan Ford as menacing old school gangster, in essence a reprisal of his Snatch role and as entertaining. Tamer Hassan again bringing some serious acting chops to the fore and a suprising show stealing performance from Adam Deacon.

Jack Falls
Annie Cooper as Xanthe, Adam Deacon as Hogan

Unfortunately one of Jack Falls’ biggest strengths - the team’s innate ability to make the most of everything to ensure that every Pound is put to good use on screen has a down side it feels as though the tension is stretched a little thin at some points as the story unravels.

The Jack team have not only made 3 modern gangster noir films, enabling them to spin off into various other projects but they have created their own British crime mythology that has spawned multiple graphic novels and an ongoing series of films. And Jack Falls is damn good effort by young & upcoming filmmakers that are going places.

I can't help but draw a parallel with Jack Adleth's Die Hard, never stay down spirit and the drive behind making these independent British films that are the life’s blood of the British film industry.

Jack Falls as well as The Jack Trilogy is available to buy or rent right now at Amazon.

For more info head over to the Jack Falls website:

Jack Falls review and Premiere